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19 March 2003

LRD guide to new rights for working parents
April 2003 sees the introduction of important new rights for working parents. Fathers and adoptive parents will benefit from a right to time off with pay for the first time. Maternity leave and pay is also being improved and parents of children under six will be able to request to work flexibly, and their employer must consider the request seriously.

Working parents - a guide to the new rights describes what the new statutory provisions are, who is eligible and the procedures that employees must follow to claim their entitlements. The procedure for requesting flexible working is also set out, together with advice on how to negotiate better arrangements than the new legal minimum.

The statutory changes provide union negotiators with an opportunity to raise provision for working parents in negotiations and to try and improve upon either the minimum statutory rights, or what the employer currently provides. Examples of good practice negotiated by unions are given throughout the booklet to assist in bargaining with the employer.

Working parents also looks at other provisions that can help working parents to manage their work and family lives, such as parental leave, time off for dependants, career breaks, childcare provision and tax credits.

Notes to editors

1. Working parents - a guide to the new rights is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?4.25 or ?10.50 for employers or commercial organisations. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?29.50 (?73.95 for employers/ commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

2. The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 90 years ago. Around 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3. For press enquiries on this booklet contact Tessa Wright on 020 7902 9817. To order copies of the booklet telephone 020 7928 3649.

4. Full information about all of LRD's services and publications is available on the LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk.

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